Published on September 13, 2016
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Our feet are small compared to the rest of our body; yet, the amount of pressure we put on them is great when we’re just standing. When we walk or run, however, it’s tremendous . . . and the bigger we are, the more our feet are asked to bear.
Many problems that occur in the feet are directly related to carrying even a small amount of extra weight. If you are overweight, you’re putting much more pressure on your feet than they’re intended to carry. It has been estimated that every pound of body weight causes three pounds of force that your feet have to absorb when you’re walking, and seven pounds when running. That means a 200 pound person’s feet would be subject to 600 pounds of force with every step and 1,400 pounds of force when running. This can lead to a long list of foot problems but today I just want to address 5 common and specific foot problems that clients have complained about and which, in many cases, was what brought them to me in the first place.
(1) They were no longer able to exercise.
Being overweight and obese places increased pressure on your feet, ankles and lower limbs, which makes you more likely to experience arthritis, foot pain and skin problems on the feet. It is those factors that can also create a debilitating cycle where clients who had been enjoying exercise or playing tennis, for example, stopped doing those things in order to avoid the discomfort they were experiencing, which resulted in even further weight gain (which compounded the pain) . . . which made it harder to lose weight.
(2) The size of their feet changed.
Being overweight can cause feet to splay and become wider and the arch of the foot flatter. This is particularly evident in childhood. When we’re young the bones in the body haven’t hardened so if a child is overweight the arch of the foot can flatten and cause a change in the whole structure of the foot. It is vital to wear a comfortable, well-fitting shoe, but for those who do have wide feet it can be more challenging to find a shoe that fits, especially the kinds of stylish shoes and boots that many of my clients (especially females of all ages) want to wear. I have heard from several female clients (let’s face it: women have more of a shoe fetish that guys do) that they have on occasion for a special event squeezed their feet into narrower shoes which rubbed or pinched, but they were willing to take a chance on the discomfort for the evening because they couldn’t find a dressy shoe in their width. (And, on the subject of foot ware, obese people often struggle to reach their feet and, therefore, tend to wear shoes with little support, such as low flat slip-ons or flip flops instead of the well-fitting shoes they should wear for proper support.)
(3) They started to walk differently (waddle walk).
Unlike a four legged animal, we do not have the luxury of having three legs to hold us up while we move the fourth. Walking for us is a repeated process of a controlled fall with the other leg catching us and pushing into the next fall so the first leg can catch. Lather, rinse, repeat. A human being was not designed to carry twice and three times their normal body mass regularly and still walk as if they’re at a normal body mass. It’s when one carries a load on their back or carrying something heavy with their arms in front of them (try it and see) that one must shift their weight from side to side as they balance on one leg at a time so as not to teeter-tauter the other way. Being overweight, then, causes a disturbance in the way you walk which can contribute to foot pain (or more foot pain if you’re already experiencing pain).
(4) They started suffering with Gout.
As I recently wrote about, gout is an extremely painful form of inflammatory arthritis caused by an accumulation of needle-like crystals of uric acid which are deposited in your joints and soft tissues — resulting in sudden, severe attacks of joint pain with redness, warmth and swelling in the joints, most often in the big toe. Gout is highly common in obese people. For several clients, all it took was one excruciating episode of gout as the catalyst to finally do something about their weight.
(5) They developed Neuropathy (nerve damage).
Needless to say, obesity and diabetes go together, which is why I hear about this so often from diabetic clients. Visit https://neuropathyreliefguide.com to check out how to repair damaged nerves. Diabetes can have a significant impact on your feet; it can result in nerve damage where you lose the ability to feel certain sensations in the feet (such as pain or heat). As a result, people with neuropathy can develop small injuries without even noticing them. Additionally, neuropathy can cause poor blood supply which reduces the skin’s ability to heal. In this way, your feet are at a much greater risk of becoming infected (here’s the list of the top solutions to treat it).
Fat feet can be very unhealthy feet, but they can also be very unhappy feet. They were not meant to carry the (over)weight of your world. So, lose weight, and turn your feet frowns upside down.